Watch the right-hand-drive C8 Corvette Stingray be built at Bowling Green.
Chevrolet is gearing up to reveal the all-new C8 Corvette Z06 later this month, but the regular C8 Corvette Stingray has been forbidden fruit in global markets until recently. While previous generations of the Corvette have been exported globally as left-hand-drive cars, this is the first time in the model's history it has been available in right-hand drive for the Japanese, the UK, and Australian markets.
Available as a coupe or convertible, the right-hand-drive C8 Corvette debuted in Japan first back in June, and the Australian version recently entered production after suffering a delay. In a new video, Chevrolet takes us behind the scenes at Bowling Green showing the right-hand-drive C8 Corvette being built at the production plant in Kentucky.
Converting the C8 Corvette to right-hand drive isn't as easy as you might think. Produced alongside left-hand-drive models at Bowling Green, the right-hand drive C8 Corvette requires over 500 new parts. This meant GM had to modify the manufacturing process to seamlessly switch between left-hand and right-hand drive production.
"It's a lot of muscle memory doing the work that we do. As the cars typically come down the line, that left-hand drive [car] is always done by one operator," an employee at Bowling Green explained. "So now your operator on the other side of the car is getting to experience what their counterpart does, and it's really kind of opened everybody's eyes to the different challenges that are presented within each specific job."
Originally, the right-hand drive Corvette was supposed to launch in Australia in the first half of this year, but better late than never - the right-hand drive Corvette nearly didn't happen at all due to the challenges created by the pandemic. While it's great that more enthusiasts will get to experience Chevrolet's magnificent mid-engine sports car, the right-hand drive C8 Corvette carries a considerable price premium over its American counterpart.
In Australia, pricing for the entry-level 2LT starts at $145,000 AUS ($107,216 USD), while the range-topping Carbon Edition costs $189,900 AUS ($140,416 USD). Australia's initial batch of 250 C8 Corvette Stingrays has reportedly already sold out. In Japan, the C8 Corvette starts at 11.8 million yen (£106,086), while the UK version starts at £81,700 ($110,702).